I keep running against this again and again, so I thought I'd post about it.
I feel paralyzed by the weight of what I say. I don't mean this in that I think my words are in and of themselves important, but when we are working, often our words come at times when parents are emotional, and sensitive. And sometimes, parents are hanging on every word when they are trying to make a decision or in a dark place. Obviously it is not always this weighty, but it often is.
I feel like I am in a time warp when I am speaking at these times, and am not my articulate self. I go home and replay conversations and kick myself for the mistakes I make or wonder if I was actually helpful to them...or if I made them feel worse. I know I do this because I really care about what I do, but I have got to get past this. It is incredibly stressful--and ironic as it is, would be doing a better job if it didn't get in my way.
The cycle is viscious. After mulling over my mistakes and words, I end up deciding that I am not cut out for this work. Usually, some form of positive feedback comes around and I come back up and decide that I am doing an OK job and I should keep on trucking.
Today I did better with a client, but got all jumbled up when I was talking to a RN/IBCLC on the phone. She was such a commanding personality and I felt so "green" that I shriveled. I got all worried about saying the right things. I tend to shrivel in the presence of other professionals, too. This part definitely seems more of a "professional self-esteem" issue. Almost like I don't trust that I "know my stuff" anymore. (Yet I know that I do!!) With other professionals, I default to words that patients/clients use unless I am super aware of it, because I feel like I sound like a fraud when I use technical terms. And I don't even mean that technical. Words like primip instead of first time mom. It's so silly. Maybe part of it is that I feel like if I sound like a professional and am wrong about something, I will look stupid? I don't know. I can't figure me out.
Anybody else been in a similar place before? What did you do to help yourself? How did you decide that you were indeed equipped to do your job and didn't worry so much about every blip or less than amazing interaction?